Insert a symbol, fraction, or special character

You can use the Symbol dialog box to insert symbols that are not on your keyboard, such as ¼ and ©, or special characters, such as an em dash (—) or ellipsis (…), as well as ASCII characters or Unicode characters.

The types of symbols and characters that you can insert depend on the font that you choose. For example, some fonts may include fractions (¼), international characters (Ç, ë), and international monetary symbols (£, ¥). The built-in Symbol font includes arrows, bullets, and scientific symbols. You might also have additional symbol fonts, such as Wingdings, that include decorative symbols.

 Note   You can increase or decrease the size of the Symbol dialog box. Move the pointer to the lower-right corner of the dialog box until it changes into a double-headed arrow, and then drag to the size that you want.

What do you want to do?


Insert a symbol

  1. Click where you want to insert the symbol.
  2. On the Insert tab, click Symbol, and select the symbol you want
    or
    click More Symbols.
  3. In the Font box, click the font that you want.

If you are inserting Unicode characters and you are using a font such as Arial or Times New Roman that contains subcategories, the Subset list is displayed. Click the character subset, such as Basic Latin or Letterlike Symbols, that you want.

  1. Double-click the symbol that you want to insert.
  2. Click Close.

 Note   The symbols shown when you click the Symbol button will be updated with your most recently used symbols, allowing you to quickly find and insert symbols you use regularly.

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Insert a special character

  1. Click where you want to insert the special character.
  2. On the Insert tab, click Symbol, and then click More Symbols.
  3. In the Symbol dialog, click the Special Characters tab
  4. Double-click the character that you want to insert.
  5. Click Close.

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Insert an ASCII or Unicode character

When you select an ASCII (decimal) or Unicode character in the Symbol dialog box, its character code appears in the Character code box. If you already know the character code, you can type it directly into the Character code box to find the ASCII or Unicode character.

 Note   Be sure that the correct character set — for example, ASCII (hex) — is selected in the from box. Otherwise, when you type a character code, the character that is displayed may not be the one you want.

The name that is displayed before the Character code box is the official character name in the ASCII or Unicode standard.

  1. Click where you want to insert the ASCII or Unicode character.
  2. On the Insert tab, click Symbol, and then click More Symbols.
  3. In the Font box, click the font that you want.
  4. In the from box, click ASCII (decimal), ASCII (hex), or Unicode.
  5. If the Subset box is available, select a character subset.
  6. Double-click the symbol that you want to insert.
  7. Click Close.

 Note   To insert an ASCII (decimal) character without opening the Symbol dialog box, make sure that NUM LOCK is on. Then hold down the ALT key while you type 0 and the character code on the numeric keypad (not on the number keys on the top row of the keyboard). Then release the ALT key. Only ASCII (decimal) character codes can be typed into a publication.

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Add a symbol with an AutoCorrect entry

With an AutoCorrect entry, you type a sequence of numbers or letters and watch them change to the symbol or character that you want. Some symbols are already set up as AutoCorrect entries in Publisher. For example, you can insert the copyright symbol by doing the following:

  1. Position the insertion point inside a text box or table cell in your publication where you want to insert the symbol.
  2. Type (c), and then press SPACEBAR.

A copyright symbol appears.

To add more symbols as AutoCorrect entries, you can find the character code and then set up the entry.

If you don't already know the character code for the symbol you want, do one of the following:

  • Copy the symbol that you want, either from a publication or from any Microsoft Windows–based program.
  • Use the Symbol dialog box to find the character code for the symbol you want.

Find the character code for a symbol

  1. On the Insert tab, click Symbol, and then click More Symbols.
  2. Click the character that you want.
  3. Make sure that ASCII (decimal) is selected in the from box, and note the character code that is displayed in the Character code box.
  4. Click Cancel.

Set up the AutoCorrect entry

  1. Click the File button, and then select Options.
  2. Select Proofing, click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoCorrect tab.
  3. Under Replace, type the text sequence that you want to be automatically changed to the symbol, such as 1/4.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • If you copied the symbol, click under With and press CTRL+V to paste the symbol.
    • If you know the character code, click under With, make sure that NUM LOCK is on, and then hold down the ALT key while you type a 0 and the character code on the numeric keypad (not on the number keys on the top row of the keyboard). Then release the ALT key.

For example, hold down the ALT key, type 0188 on the numeric keypad, and then release the ALT key to insert the symbol ¼. To insert the symbol ½, use the character code 0189. To insert the symbol ¾, use 0190.

  1. Click Add.
  2. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each AutoCorrect entry that you want to set up.
  3. Close the AutoCorrect dialog box when you are finished.

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Applies to:
Publisher 2010